Toys "R" Dallas

This pic was taken outside a recent American International Toy Fair in New York. And, no, these are not the droids you're looking for.

Seems Comerica isn't the only bidness moving to town: Yesterday, the Toy Industry Association announced it was moving its fall preview show from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to the Dallas Market Center, beginning with the October 8-11 show this year. And, yeah, it's a big deal -- at least for NYC. Says here, that in 2005, a developer bought the landmark International Toy Center on Fifth Avenue and is turning the joint into -- what else-- a 671,000-square-foot building full of luxury condos, which got politicians in NYC jittery about an eventual move outta town.

Reports "The sale immediately raised concerns that TIA would search for a new location for its toy fairs, and prompted Sen. Charles Schumer and the New York City Economic Development Corp. to urge TIA to remain in New York." Which it's doing, but only for its February American International Toy Fair, which last month drew 28,000 would-be toy-buyers and other industry types. Then again, the deal at the Javits center is only through 2010, so who knows.

The October preview show is also significant for TIA: It's when manufacturers roll out new product for long-lead buyers and your Big Box stores (including Toys "R" Us and Target). And the reason TIA is moving here, at least in the fall? "The TIA has been working on making this important show more efficient and convenient for all participants," its chairman, Daniel Grossman, said in a TIA press release. "We have listened to buyers and exhibitors alike and agreed that we can maximize the impact of this show by moving it to Dallas." --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky